Last month, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey dropped a bomb on the Bay State’s gun owners and retailers deciding on her own to institute an ‘assault weapons’ ban. She hung her legal hat on a provision of a law on the books that specifically allows her to prohibit any gun that’s a “copy” or “duplicate” of those banned in (the first) President Clinton’s federal AWB of 1994. Now she’s published a description of guns that are not covered by her diktat. Buy ’em while you still can.
Q: Are there examples or categories of weapons that are not assault weapons?
Yes. Many rifles, shotguns, and pistols are not assault weapons, and therefore are not “copies or duplicates” of enumerated assault weapons. For example, the following are not assault weapons under G.L. c. 140, § 121:
- Any .22 caliber rifle;
- Any Ruger Mini 14 or substantially-similar model weapon;
- Any of the hundreds of rifles and shotguns listed on this list —Appendix A to 18 U.S.C. § 922, as appearing on September 13, 1994;
- Any weapon that is operated by manual bolt, pump, lever, or slide action;
- Any weapon that is an antique, relic, or theatrical prop;
- Any semiautomatic rifle that cannot accept a detachable magazine that holds more than five rounds of ammunition;
- Any semiautomatic shotgun that cannot hold more than five rounds of ammunition in a fixed or detachable magazine.
This list is not exhaustive; it is meant for illustrative purposes only. Many other weapons are not assault weapons or “copies or duplicates” of assault weapons.
Q: Are any .22 caliber rifles affected by the Enforcement Notice?
No. However, a weapon that is manufactured as an Assault Weapon cannot be made legal by alterations that allow it to discharge .22-caliber ammunition.
Q: Does this Enforcement Notice change which semi-automatic pistols may be sold in Massachusetts?
No. The Enforcement Notice makes no change to the list of handguns, including semi-automatic pistols, approved for sale in Massachusetts. The most recent list (August 2016) is available here . The Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban does prohibit the sale of five semi-automatic pistols, the INTRATEC TEC-9, TEC-DC9 and TEC-22; and the Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil. Only these weapons and copies or duplicates of these specific pistols are prohibited under the ban, and none appear on the approved list.
For more information, please visit the Assault Weapon Ban Enforcement page.